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Indian-American staffing company CEO charged for ill-treating maid

An Indian-American CEO of an IT staffing and consulting firm has been charged in the US with callous treatment of a domestic worker who had come from India to work for her.

Washington, Sep 8 (UITV)- An Indian-American Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an IT staffing and consulting firm has been charged with callous treatment of a domestic worker who had come from India to work for her.

The Department of Labor in its complaint alleged that Himanshu Bhatia, the CEO of Rose International and IT Staffing, underpaid her domestic service worker. The maid worked for 15-and –a-half hours a day, seven days a week, in Bhatia’s home in San Juan Capistrano and her other residences in Miami, Las Vegas, Long Beach and California.

According to a complaint filed by the US Labor Secretary, the domestic service worker, identified as Sheela Ningwal was subjected to physical and verbal abuse. She was forced to sleep in the garage with Ms. Bhatia’s dogs when she was ill, and was left without food when Ms. Bhatia left her residence for days, the complaint alleged.

In December 2014, Bhatia allegedly forced Ningwal to sign a document stating that she was being paid adequately and had no employment dispute with her employer. Additionally, Ms. Bhatia confiscated Ms. Ningwal’s passport, restricting her free movement.  

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Bhatia violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and record keeping provisions from July 2012 to December 2014, as well as the act’s anti-retaliation provision.